Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Screening Log - Step Up 2: The Streets

This latest variation on the 'hip hop meets ballet/ballroom' dance movie is so formulaic, it almost could have come straight from those plotting graphs my high school writing teacher used to hand out. Remember that early peak, where the protagonist meets a challenge from the antagonist and loses badly, only to return to face down that same challenge victoriously in the finale?

In Step Up 2, that translates to: Team of misfits puts together a dance crew and eventually challenges the reigning champs at a club, where they get stomped. Later, they face down those same reigning champs in a final contest. (Spoilers? Come on. You already knew they win in the end.) Insert a couple of romantic sub-plots, and you've got yourself a movie. The formula is tried and true. Don't believe me? Hey, guess what - if you substitute 'dance crew' and 'reigning champs' for 'Team USA' and 'Team Iceland', and 'club' and 'final contest' for 'World Junior Hockey Championships', you wind up with D2: The Mighty Ducks.

All that being said, though - a formulaic plot didn't stop me from enjoying some great dancing and lots of pretty people. Briana Evigan pulls off her role as simultaneously tough and feminine Andie, and by the standards of this sort of movie, she makes a relatively interesting female lead.

The bottom line is this: Step Up 2 is a fun riff on an old theme. If you liked Step Up 2's predecessors, you'll like this one, too.

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